Painting Halo Fleet Battles – Part 1

I have to say that I’m very impressed with Spartan Games’ Halo Fleet Battles miniature game. I caved into buying it because I love Spartan minis – and especially these Halo models – and had seen some good mechanics demonstrated on the Fleet Signal YouTube channel. (Thanks Alex!) Up front, I’ll let you know that I’m an avid miniature gamer and modeller. What follows is what I discovered to be the best way to approach painting all my UNSC space ships. I hope you get something useful out of it, however brief it may be.

painting1

I found that cutting out all the smallest, Paris class ships, and friction fitting them onto the flight pegs – then friction fitting the pegs into the element bases was a good way to set them up for mass spray painting.

painting2

Here they are spray painted white (GW primer white). I don’t care that I got overspray onto the pegs and element bases, because I fully intend these to end up black when I’m done. Easy!

painting3

The base coat colour of the Paris frigates is an ink wash – not paint. Because I want my fleet to be in the gray/blue/gray range, I know if I ink a dark blue black over the white primer, I’ll not only pull out all the models’ details, I’ll end up with a lighter blue-gray ship. This is good because as a miniature gets smaller, I think its colour should get lighter so you can see it. Remember, the game will be played on a proper star mat – black. Dark models will get lost on the background, so I paint for gaming effect, not Halo correctness.

It’s interesting to note that not one ship popped off its peg while I primed or painted these. And not one peg fell over either. These pieces fit superbly. Tight – but superbly.

painting4

The last thing I’ll show you is how I painted the flight pegs. I really don’t like the shiny plastic look of the pegs or element bases. I can see why Spartan chose this, but I find the gloss to be counter to the grit of wargaming models, let alone the black star mat they will end up on. So I found a small cardboard box, and poked holes in it with one of my circular files. You can see how small they are in the picture. (A pen tip would have the same effect.) Then I pushed the bottom of the pegs into the holes, and they literally SNAPPED into place – immovable. I lined them up around the outside of the box, then took them outside and spray primed them black. Easy. Then I primed all the element bases black as well – aiming to only paint the outside edges. The tops are covered by the formation templates, so you don’t need to paint them. Also, you don’t want to mess with the tight fit of their holes by adding paint.

unsc-fleet1

I love these models, and I really like the overall look of the fleet. I think the pegs and bases are better in black – don’t you? All ships were base primed in white, base coated in Vallejo Grey(s) (except the Paris class frigates), washed in blue black ink by either Secret Weapon or GW, and then painted here and there for detail.

unsc-fleet2

A close up of the UNSC Epoch Heavy Carrier. It seemed a shame to paint it with just Halo greys. The blue-greys aren’t such a deviation, and they allow the model to POP on the table.Then, when you think you’re almost done – paint on some lights. Lots and lots of lights. You know every space ship has them – do it!

UNSC Halo Battles Fleet
Time to paint: 18hrs     Points on the table: BR 24 : 805pts (in these formations)

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